Urinary Incontinence and Erectile Dysfunction in men after Prostate Cancer Surgery
Has the treatment of prostate cancer left you with symptoms of urinary Incontinence or problems with erections?
Prostate cancer surgery may cause weakness of the urinary sphincter leading to involuntary urine leakage.
If you had radiotherapy for prostate cancer you may feel a range of symptoms relating to your bladder, including urgency to void, frequency, blood in the urine and urine leakage.
Erectile dysfunction following treatment for prostate cancer is common. For some patients the journey to restored sexuality can be challenging.
Understandably, getting rid of the prostate cancer is most patients’ greatest concern. However, these side effects can have a significant impact on the lives of patients who had surgery or radiotherapy for prostate cancer.
The good news is that we can help! We are here to support you through the rehabilitation process and help with the sequelae of radical treatment for prostate cancer.
Initial rehabilitation to regain urinary continence is with pelvic floor exercises. Symptoms of urgency and frequency may be treated with tablets if appropriate. For those men who experience long term urinary incontinence we can offer surgical treatment options including artificial urinary sphincter surgery, subject to appropriate patient selection.
For erectile dysfunction, rehabilitation includes oral medications and vacuum pumps. If these are not effective, injections or urethral suppositories may be considered. When these don’t help, a penile implant may be considered.
In summary, prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men worldwide. If detected early, it is usually curable. Many men have surgery or radiotherapy for prostate cancer and whilst the cure rates are high, they are sometimes left with urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. These can have a huge impact on their way of life, their relationships and their mental well-being. The good news is that there are many treatment options to help patients to deal with these problems.
About the Author:
Miss Stella Ivaz is an Associate Professor at UCL and an award-winning Consultant Urologist with a special interest in General urology, Female urology, Reconstructive urology, and Andrology. She is an expert in treating urological problems and sequelae that patients experience after surgery and radiotherapy for Prostate Cancer.
She has completed her sub-specialty fellowship training in genitourinary reconstructive surgery at the Institute of Urology, University College Hospital in London. She works as a Consultant Urologist both in the NHS as well as treating private patients.